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Morning Skate: Red Wings at Sabres

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Sheahan didn't score here.
Sheahan didn't score here.
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

7:00p ET, KeyBank Center

Buffalo, NY

TV: Fox Sports Detroit-Plus, MSG

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket/1270 AM

Sabre Blog: Die By The Blade

Welcome to the BATTLE OF THE BASEMENT.

ATL DIV STANDINGS 11/22

Ladies and gentlemen, we're entering uncharted territory here. There is an enormous section of the fanbase -- including myself -- that wasn't alive or was simply too young to remember the last time the Red Wings found themselves in the basement of their division this late into the season.

Are the Wings really the worst team in the division? I don't believe it. But right now they are what their records says they are (and the only team worse than them in the entire East is the Islanders).

Ken Holland has always preached that a team needs to be in or near a playoff spot by American Thanksgiving. After this Thursday, teams don't really tend to make huge moves up or down the standings. Of course, there are the occurrences where it's happened, but it's not a regular event.

Bottom line... the Red Wings have dug themselves a huge hole.

So what's next?

Tonight could be the beginning of an epic run. A dominant win against a bad Sabres team could be the jolt the Wings need to get back on track.

Or tonight we could get even closer to rock bottom. A loss to a bad team that sends the Wings spiraling out of control.

Either way, I, for one, am extremely fascinated to see what lies ahead and how Ken Holland is going to deal with it.

Detroit Expected Lineup

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Tomas  Tatar Frans Nielsen Luke Glendening
Gus Nyquist Dylan Larkin Thomas Vanek
Riley Sheahan Steve Ott Tyler Bertuzzi

Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall Brendan Smith
Jonathan Ericsson Ryan Sproul

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Drew Miller, Xavier Ouellet

Injuries: Andreas Athanasiou, Alexey Marchenko, Darren Helm

Sabres Expected Lineup

Forwards

Evander Kane Johan Larsson Kyle Okposo
Marcus Foligno Sam Reinhart Brian Gionta
Zemgus Girgenso Cal O'Reilly Matt Moulson
Will Carrier Derek Grant Cole Schneider

Defensemen

Josh Gorges Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake  McCabe Cody Franson
Taylor Fedun Justin Falk

Goaltenders

Robin Lehner
Anders Nilsson

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Game Day Prediction Contest

Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.

Make your game predictions on the winning team, final score, and who the Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated in the questions. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. All other submissions after that will be disregarded. Only one submission per person, please. POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.

Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 2 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct you'll receive 15 points.